I didn't want to believe the reviews on the net, so I decided to give Novikov a try. Almost all reviews talked about a restaurant that's unjustifiably pricey, with bad service, full of celebrities but with average food: I had to try it.
Novikov is divided into four main sections, the Asian restaurant, and the bar next to the entrance, the Italian restaurant and the club. We chose the Italian eatery.
Down below is the Italian restaurant where a packed wine cellar welcomes you. A large space topped with a white wooden ceiling replicates an Italian setup. Candles lit the space while wooden tables filled the area atop wooden tiles. The restaurant also hosts a private dining area.
As you enter, to the left is a buffet table, a large table filled with food which you can't approach or touch. Bizarre! Food is displayed for the waiters to fill the plates only. I was informed because I asked, but that isn't written anywhere.
- Salumi selection
- Tartare e carpaccio
- Dishes of the season
- Primi piatti
- From the wood oven
- From the josper and grill
- Main courses
- The place is way too noisy.
- The menu is loaded, written in small characters and not easy to read.
- The staff is overwhelmed and not too attentive.
- The water glasses are way too heavy and unpleasant to drink from.
- White wine glasses are used to serve red wine.
Dinner started as a basket of bread landed on the table loaded with French bread, Italian grissini and thin toasted bread like Lebanese markouk. All of them were fresh and tasty.
So we ordered... And enjoyed some Italian food:
- The fried calamari is good, fresh and oil-free.
- The vitello tonnato is excellent, really excellent: A success.
- The burratta is good and fresh.
- The grilled vegetables are generous, a simple yet tasty plate.
- The white truffle pizza lacks body and flavor. That's a disappointing one. For the price paid, you expect perfection. The dough is way too commercial and soggy.
- The risotto is too heavy, like concrete on the stomach.
- The fish is juicy indeed, but has no taste. Lacks everything...
- The pasta with red sauce is over cooked and dull.
- The Bolognese: Very, very disappointing.
- Tiramisu: Thick pieces of bread and cream.
- Green tea Creme brûlée: Innovative, but it tasted like custard.
- Avoid ordering any pizza, all of them are highly priced because Novikov doesn't want to be labeled as a pizzeria.
- Service is good
- We all left kind of hungry, after paying £100/person.
Now I understand the reviews. It's simply not worth it much. Zuma or Coya, which I visited during the same week, were way, way better for the same price, and more so you leave fulfilled and happy.